Joseph Edwards Carpenter

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Joseph Edwards Carpenter (2 November 1813, London – 6 May 1885, Bayswater[1]) was an English playwright, composer, and songwriter.

In 1851 Carpenter moved from Leamington to London.[2] He wrote various touring musical entertainments such as The Road, the Rail and the River, and a Vocal, Pictorial, and Descriptive Illustration of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853). A two-act musical drama The Sanctuary and his three-act drama Love and Honour appeared in 1854, and a three-act drama Adam Bede in 1862.[1]

He wrote lyrics for over 2500 songs and duets, publishing them in Ainsworth's Magazine and other magazines, and partnering with various composers including Henry Bishop, Stephen Glover, and James Ernest Perring.

From 1865 to 1867 Carpenter edited 10 volumes of Penny Readings in prose and verse.

He is buried at Highgate Cemetery.[3]


  • Random rhymes or lays of London, 1833
  • Minstrel musings, London, 1838
  • The romance of the dreamer, and other poems, London, 1841
  • What Are the Wild Waves Saying?, 1853[4]
  • Songs and ballads, new ed., London, 1844; new ed. with additions, 1854
  • Poems and lyrics, new ed., London, 1845
  • Lays and legends of fairyland, London & Leamington, 1849
  • My jubilee volume, London, 1883


  1. ^ a b Boase, F., Modern English biography, 6 vols, 1892-1921
  2. ^ The Times, 25 June 1851, p.1
  3. ^ The Times, 8 May 1885, p. 1
  4. ^ What Are the Wild Waves Saying? Duet. w., Joseph Edwards Carpenter. m., Stephen Glover. (The words were suggested by the deathbed scene of little Paul, haunted by memories of the sea, in Dickens's novel Dombey and Son which was published in London during 1847-48. Glover brought out the song in 1850. It was reprinted by Wm. A. Pond & Co., New York, during the late 1860s or 1870s.) Greatest Hits 1820-1860

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